Virgin Australia is a step closer to realising its net zero emissions goal with four new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft set to join its fleet, each representing an emissions reduction of 15 per cent per flight.
The Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which are in addition to another four MAX 8 aircraft announced in April 2022, support capacity increases in line with Virgin’s broader growth strategy bringing total Boeing 737 fleet to 92 (consisting of 737-700s, 737-800s and Boeing MAX 8s) an increase of nearly 60 per cent since relaunching in November 2020. The first delivery of the additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is expected in 2023.
The news came as the airline was granted priority access to a Boeing 737NG full-flight simulator that will be deployed in Jandakot, near Perth as part of a long-term partnership with global aviation training provider CAE.
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said the key to the airline’s success is its people and increasing domestic 737 training capacity by 25 per cent is a major win for the airline.
“Not only will we have increased pilot training capacity shortly, I am delighted that this week we have reached another major milestone with our team growing to over 7,000 team members, which is a real indication of the growth delivered in a very short time by Virgin Australia,” Hrdlicka said.
“The future of Virgin Australia is bright, and today’s announcements highlight our commitment to maintain strong competition for Australians who want to travel and experience great value. It also underscores our confidence in our underlying performance and commitment to Net Zero carbon emmissions by 2050.
“Despite the challenges faced by our industry, demand for travel remains strong and we’re responding with a focus on the long-term by increasing the efficiency and sustainability of our fleet with four additional Boeing MAX 8s joining our fleet from 2023.
“Today is a great day for our pilots and for Perth. The continued focus on investment in people, aircraft and infrastructure is important to our business and the added activity in Perth will be great for many of our existing partners in Western Australia.
“This means our Western Australian pilots will have the opportunity to be trained at their home base, saving them travel time to and from the East Coast or further, while providing significant cost savings to the business and driving efficiency in our training program.
“This is the first time we will have a simulator outside of Queensland or Victoria, and while Virgin Australia’s home will always be in the Sunshine State, it demonstrates the growth and importance of our business in Western Australia and of the state to Virgin Australia.”